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No Coffee Is Worth This Much Trouble

, , , , , , | Legal | October 18, 2020

In my state, wearing a mask in any public building is required.

I go to the corner gas station that’s very popular with the local police because they give them free coffee. I go up to the counter to make my purchase and see that the two clerks don’t have their masks pulled all the way up. I’ve had some recent health problems, so politely, from behind my mask, I ask them before I approach:

Me: “Can you pull your masks up?”

They think I said, “Put your hands up,” and hit the panic button. The doors lock, and they bolt for the backroom while I’m having a WTF moment.

Now, as I’ve said, the place is very popular with the local police department, and there’s usually one or two cars there an hour. FOUR police cars arrive in thirty seconds; their precinct is a half-mile down the street.

They get out of their cars with guns drawn and shout at me to freeze, come to them, get on the ground, and other things I can’t make out from behind their masks. They also can’t get into the store because the doors are still locked and the cashier and supervisor aren’t coming out of the backroom because they think I’m robbing the place.

I get on the floor and stay there until the supervisor unlocks the door, holding a mop handle in my direction, and the cops swarm me and handcuff me while reading me my rights.

They start asking me my name, what I am doing there, etc. I’m still wearing my mask and one of them says he can’t understand me. I enunciate for them as clearly as I can while handcuffed.

Me: “I came up to the counter and asked them to pull their masks up as I have health problems.” 

It took another ten minutes of me repeating what I’d said before the cashier agreed that was what she’d thought I said and panicked. The supervisor panicked, too, and I ended up almost getting arrested because they couldn’t understand me. 

Enunciate, people. It might stop you from getting arrested. 

As a bonus, I got a free cup of coffee.

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